1 Ahab's son Joram* began to rule over Israel in the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat's reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twelve years.1
2 He did what was evil in the LORD's sight, but he was not as wicked as his father and mother. He at least tore down the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had set up.
3 Nevertheless he continued in the sins of idolatry that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led the people of Israel to commit.
4 King Mesha of Moab and his people were sheep breeders. They used to pay the king of Israel an annual tribute of 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams.
5 But after Ahab's death, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
6 So King Joram mustered the army of Israel and marched from Samaria.
7 On the way, he sent this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: "The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you help me fight him?" And Jehoshaphat replied, "Why, of course! You and I are brothers, and my troops are yours to command. Even my horses are at your service."
8 Then Jehoshaphat asked, "What route will we take?" "We will attack from the wilderness of Edom," Joram replied.
9 The king of Edom and his troops joined them, and all three armies traveled along a roundabout route through the wilderness for seven days. But there was no water for the men or their pack animals.
10 "What should we do?" the king of Israel cried out. "The LORD has brought the three of us here to let the king of Moab defeat us."
11 But King Jehoshaphat of Judah asked, "Is there no prophet of the LORD with us? If there is, we can ask the LORD what to do." One of King Joram's officers replied, "Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to be Elijah's personal assistant.*"2
12 Jehoshaphat said, "Then the LORD will speak through him." So the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom went to consult with Elisha.
13 "I want no part of you," Elisha said to the king of Israel. "Go to the pagan prophets of your father and mother!" But King Joram said, "No! For it was the LORD who called us three kings here to be destroyed by the king of Moab!"
14 Elisha replied, "As surely as the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, I would not bother with you except for my respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah.
15 Now bring me someone who can play the harp." While the harp was being played, the power of the LORD came upon Elisha,
16 and he said, "This is what the LORD says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water!
17 You will see neither wind nor rain, says the LORD, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and for your cattle and your other animals.
18 But this is only a simple thing for the LORD, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab!
19 You will conquer the best of their cities, even the fortified ones. You will cut down all their trees, stop up all their springs, and ruin all their good land with stones."
20 And sure enough, the next day at about the time when the morning sacrifice was offered, water suddenly appeared! It was flowing from the direction of Edom, and soon there was water everywhere.
21 Meanwhile, when the people of Moab heard about the three armies marching against them, they mobilized every man who could fight, young and old, and stationed themselves along their border.
22 But when they got up the next morning, the sun was shining across the water, making it look as red as blood.
23 "It's blood!" the Moabites exclaimed. "The three armies have attacked and killed each other! Let's go and collect the plunder!"
24 When they arrived at the Israelite camp, the army of Israel rushed out and attacked the Moabites, who turned and ran. The army of Israel chased them into the land of Moab, destroying everything as they went.
25 They destroyed the cities, covered their good land with stones, stopped up the springs, and cut down the good trees. Finally, only Kir-hareseth was left, but even that came under attack.*3